The Artist (2011)
Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:18 PM
I didn't even recognize the title, so I looked it up, and found a trailer. (From Cannes, so it's written in French, but there's no dialogue.)
Looks a lot like a Guy Maddin movie. Not sure if that's automatically a good thing, but I like silent films, so I'm intrigued.
The director's IMDB page doesn't turn up anything I recognize. For the search: Hazanavicius.
The cast is impressive, though. Malcolm McDowell, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller. Jean Dujardin, as George Valentin, is Indiewire's pick for best actor.
Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:26 PM
Edited by Ryan H., 29 August 2011 - 06:29 PM.
Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:43 PM
Posted 14 October 2011 - 02:22 PM
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'The Artist': The Not-So-Silent Entry
How Michel Hazanavicius' silent feature is angling to become the first non-talkie to win the best picture prize in 83 years.
Hollywood Reporter, October 14
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Incidentally, calling this film "silent" is kind of like calling Schindler's List "black-and-white". But if City Lights or Modern Times can be considered "silent" films...
Posted 22 November 2011 - 08:21 AM
Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:00 PM
Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:20 PM
Posted 12 December 2011 - 01:34 PM
Still, that being said, this IS a rather charming film. But it's a trifle, and certainly not "Best Picture" material.
Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:55 PM
Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:52 AM
: Which cue from VERTIGO is used?
Sorry, I'm not familiar enough with that movie's soundtrack to name a specific track or anything like that. One of the more pining/romantic tunes, though.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:30 PM
I for one would rather see a successfully charming trifle win out over the parade of High-Minded Humanism that usually dominates the Oscars.
Posted 13 December 2011 - 09:19 PM
And, truth be told, I think film these days doesn't have much to offer in the way of genuinely High-Minded Humanism. Wish they did, actually. It would be a nice relief from all the vacuous, cynical flicks we have to sit through these days.
Edited by Ryan H., 13 December 2011 - 09:25 PM.
Posted 14 December 2011 - 12:46 AM
: Provisionally granting everything that went before it (and which I've cut) ... why is being a trifle disqualifying as Best Picture material?
Well, to borrow one of Overstreet's buzzwords, the Academy is supposed to be rewarding "excellence" -- and "trifles", almost by definition, are not "excellent". I might quibble with Kenny's breakdown of the film (according to which 40% of the film is really good, 40% is tolerable, and the rest is inexplicably anachronistically bad, or however he described it), but I'm sympathetic to it, and I don't think a film with those kinds of stats can really be called "excellent". It's charming and entertaining for what it is, but it's a "trifle" compared to films that are 100% really good or even 75% really good.
Posted 20 December 2011 - 01:27 AM
Okay, even though I’ve refused to place The Artist on any of my lists of end-of-the-year favorites, I’ve just finished reseeing it, and I have to admit that if I were a member of the Academy and could offer write-ins, Uggie the dog would be somewhere near the top. . . .
Above all, I’m flabbergasted by the performance of Uggie the dog, mutt extraordinaire, which has got to be one of the best canine turns in the history of cinema. Even if I’ve never seen any of the Rin Tin Tin features or more than a handful of the various Lassies, and notwithstanding the undeniable pizzazz of Cecil Hepworth’s Rescued by Rover (1905), Uggie is surely and plainly more deserving of an Oscar nomination than any other individual associated with The Artist, including the diverse Douglas Fairbanks and Gene Kelly impersonations of Jean Dujardin and the undeniable technical polish of Hazanavicius. . . .
Posted 24 December 2011 - 07:31 AM
THE ARTIST is a charming, lightweight entertainment, not a grand artistic statement. But it's so lovingly made and so exuberant that it's nevertheless a film I admire more than the alleged Oscar frontrunners (the ones I've seen, at any rate).
Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:10 AM
The film’s lineage also traces back to several other Hollywood classics. “I stole an entire segment — the breakfast montage — from ‘Citizen Kane.’ And there are touches of ‘Sunset Boulevard.’ I think it’s more ‘Sunset’ than ‘Singin’, actually.”
Plus, there’s an extraordinary sequence near the end, for which he used Bernard Herrmann’s famous “Scene d’Amour” theme from Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” (1958). “The ‘Vertigo’ music is here to help shape the emotional structure of the climax,” he said. “But it’s also heard in the finale [of ‘Vertigo’], and the theme worked perfectly here. It helps to create a sense of resolution.”
As for a resolution, there’s a happy ending, a la Ginger and Fred, for George and Peppy. But one question remains. Why “The Artist”?
“I didn’t choose that title,” he said, laughing. “The working title was ‘Peppy and George,’ and then it was ‘Beauty Spot’ [referring to the trademark look that Valentin gives Peppy]. I like that concept. The producer asked me what I thought of ‘The Artist.’ To me, [Valentin] is proud, selfish, egocentric. I don’t see how he’s an artist, but he thinks he’s an artist. Thomas said just try [using the title], just to see. Maybe the title is to convince other people. I think it works, but also it reminds me of the way they used to introduce characters in silent films [with title cards]. But I think maybe for him, it’s a very meta title, just in a way.”
Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:20 AM
I also find The Artist charming and exuberantly made, but I'm also sympathetic to Kenny's breakdown. I thought Valentin's Star is Born-esque downward spiral mired the film in gloom for way too long, and the happy ending was too brief to make up for it. There's so much to like about it, but as Valentin crashed in slow motion I was with the picture for awhile, and then I was going along with it, and then I was tolerating it, and finally I reached a point where I said "Okay, enough is enough, do something else." And it didn't. And then it didn't some more.
Edited by SDG, 24 December 2011 - 09:20 AM.
Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:27 AM
Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:06 AM
Edited by SDG, 24 December 2011 - 11:07 AM.
Posted 24 December 2011 - 01:05 PM
: Perhaps a trifle. But if it's a trifle, then so is, say, HUGO.
I find Hugo a bit too overcooked to be a "trifle", but anyhoo.
: Well, I don't see why a trifle can't be excellent for what it is.
Exactly, for what it is: that's the rub.